Description

German photographer Herbert List turned his interest towards Italy from 1950 to 1961, photographing everything from street scenes to contemplative photo-essays, from architectural views to portraits of international artists living in Italy. While in Rome in 1953, List injured his foot and was unable to walk the streets. That summer he photographed the streets from the window of photographer Max Scheler’s apartment in Trastavere. He experimented with Scheler’s 35mm equipment and used a telephoto lens for the first time. Pictured here, shadows of houses in via della Lungarina.

The pictures I took spontaneously - with a bliss-like sensation, as if they had long inhabited my unconscious - were often more powerful than those I had painstakingly composed. I grasped their magic as in passing

Herbert List
© Herbert List | Magnum Photos

Herbert List was a classically educated artist who combined a love of photography with a fascination for surrealism and classicism.

Greece became List’s primary interest during the late 30s. His first visit to the antique temples, sculptures and landscapes, his first solo show opened in Paris in the summer of 1937. Publications in Life, Photographie, Verve and Harper’s Bazaar followed, and List began work on his first book, Licht Ueber Hellas, which wasn’t published until 1953.

He became a contributor to Magnum in 1951 but rarely accepted assignments. During the 50s he began using a 35mm camera and telephoto lens and was influenced by the spontaneity of Henri Cartier-Bresson. In his final decades his interest in photography waned and he turned his focus to collecting Old Master drawings. Herbert List died in Munich in 1975.

© Herbert List | Magnum Photos

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